3rd party E-M5 batteries getting stuck

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dhazeghi, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    When I got my E-M5, I got a Wasabi charger and 4 non-OEM BLN-1 batteries with it. One of the batteries was a very tight fit (I got it stuck in the camera) and so couldn't be used but I figured for the price I still had 3 good batteries. 4 months later, a second one of the batteries stopped fitting, and now a third one is having that problem. It seems that the batteries have swollen (slightly) and while they will still go into the camera, they're too tight for the spring to push out.

    Has anybody else experienced this? Any particular solutions? They're not expensive batteries, but it's a bit wasteful going through 3 batteries in a year.
  2. AZK9lover

    AZK9lover Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2010
    AZ, USA
    I've had that happen once with a "maximal power" generic battery, when I couldn't figure out why the battery was stuck (and finally saw that it was swollen after prying it out with some tweezers). I then researched this further and seem to recall reading that non-OEM batteries may lack some safety feature that prevents overcharging(?), which may lead to swelling. I threw that battery away, and so far haven't had another episode, but am cautious and examine my batteries each time after charging. This hasn't stopped me so far from buying generic batteries (wasabi power included), but depending on one's usage history and rate of swollen batteries, perhaps it may be cost effective for some to consider OEM batteries over generics (though I don't have enough info to say that OEM batteries are completely immune to this problem either)?
  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
  4. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    The STK battery I bought earlier this summer jammed in my E-P3. It also overheated and I had a heck of a time getting it out. Back to OEM batteries and they work perfectly albeit pricey.
  5. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I had that happen once with a Wasabi BLS1 battery and went through the same thought process of rationalizing my just quickly tossing it out because of low initial cost.
  6. Same thing happened with a couple of third party batteries for my old Canons, but otherwise have generally been lucky. I tend to stick with genuine batteries now, however.
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  8. Had this problem with my SD14 Foveon and 3rd party batteries. Solved by sanding down the case a tad then a couple loops, length wise, of dental floss to tug on to ease removal. As usual YMMV.
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I like the dental floss idea. Not sure about the sanding - I'd hate to oversand and breach one of the cells!

    As to sticking with genuine batteries, at 6x the cost, I'm still not sure it's worth it. At least until I get one of these 3rd party ones stuck in the camera.

    The odd thing is that I've been using 3rd party BLS-1's for ages with my Pens and E-series DSLRs and haven't noticed any of these issues. I'm wondering what's particular about the BLN-1, or if it's just bad luck...
  10. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Part of the issue it the temptation for the off brand battery makers to market based on higher mAh since there is not much room for price differentiation between them. That means trying to squeeze a higher power density cell in the same case dimensions as the OEM version.
  11. Captiva

    Captiva Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2012
    Tossed one of my Wasabi's due to the case expanding and getting stuck in an E-PL2.

    Second Wasabi is hanging in there for now.
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Well, I ordered 2 more 3rd party BLN-1s and they didn't even last a full month before swelling up.

    So far, of the 6 BLN-1 clones I've gotten, only 1 still fits in the camera. I'm severely unimpressed. I've never seen these kind of problems with other cloned battery times - the EN-EL3e batteries I used in my Nikon D700, and the BLS-1 batteries I use in my E-PM2 never had any issues.
  13. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Thought I'd solved the problem when I ordered 4 Wasabis almost 2 years ago. To their credit, they held charge and seemed to do well, up to about a month ago. Now 3 of them won't fit at all in my E-M1 (one of those will marginally fit in my E-M5). I guess for the price I can't complain too much, but it's a shame that I'll have to junk them too.
  15. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    I own Wasabi batteries as well. Is there a trick to taking them out once they've swollen and stuck in the battery compartment?
  16. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I purchased 2 wasabi batteries nearly 2 years ago. Didn't have any issues with swelling, but eventually they didn't hold juice for long so I trashed both and purchased an Olympus one from the local shop. No more 3rd party for me.
  17. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, which charger are you using? Batteries will swell faster if they're overcharged or getting too hot while charging.

  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Not really. I've twice gotten batteries stuck in cameras. In both cases, it involved using tweezers, fingernails and a lot of patience. One thing that can help a little is to remove the battery door. That gives you a little more room to pull.

    I suppose if you know you'll be junking the battery, you could glue a strip of hard plastic to the battery and use that for leverage.

    I use the charger that came with the Wasabis. At least for the BLN-1, I can't use the OEM one for 3rd party batteries (plus the OEM one is considerably larger, less convenient for traveling). I now have a universal charger that I'll probably use in the future.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  19. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Just go with the Progo batteries, very few have had issues with them. I have several and all have faired over the last 2 years.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    I had this happen with Wasabi as well. At that point I decided that it wasn't worth it to allow a cheap battery to potentially damage my expensive camera.